UNION — A facility that will serve as the focus of a local church’s efforts to help the less fortunate get jobs and become self-sufficient got its formal opening this morning during a ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by Gov. Nikki Haley.
“Meeting Place on Main” is the result of a collaboration between Trinity Baptist Church’s Channel of Blessing Ministry and the Original 6 Foundation established by Haley when she became governor in 2011. Located at 111 W. Main St. in downtown Union, Meeting Place on Main is part of Trinity Baptist expansion of its Chanel of Blessing Ministry to include helping the people it is serving through its food ministry become self-supporting by getting and keeping a job. The facility will focus on job preparedness for those who need help finding gainful employment.
While the building was donated to the church by Jane Kirby, most of the funding for its renovation was provided by the Original 6 Foundation which allocated Trinity Baptist a total of $37,000 for the project.
Haley got her first look at the new facility when she arrived in Union this morning for a ribbon-cutting ceremony formally opening Meeting Place on Main. She and Mikee Johnson, CEO of Cox Industries and Chairman of the Original 6 Foundation, assisted the Rev. Neil Keisler, pastor of Trinity Baptist Church, in cutting the ribbon formally opening Meeting Place on Main.
During the ceremony, Haley pointed out that in the past, rural communities like Union County were often forgotten when it came to economic development and that she didn’t want that to continue to happen. Haley said that when she became governor she instructed the project managers at the SC Department of Commerce that when they bring a new industry into the state they get a bonus, but when they bring one to a rural community like Union County, they get an even bigger bonus.
To help her achieve her goal of ensuring that rural communities are not forgotten, Haley also founded the Original 6 Foundation to work with local groups in the counties served by Original 6 to identify and address the challenges facing their communities and then provide them with the resources to do so. In the case of Union County the local group was Trinity Baptist Church and its desire to expand its Channel of Blessing Ministry to address the issue of workforce readiness and Meeting Place on Main would be the focus of its efforts to do so.
Haley said that during her term as governor, that has announced 900 new jobs in Union County and that the unemployment rate has declined from 17 percent to 7 percent. She pledged to continue to work to bring even more jobs to Union County, but said that those jobs will require people who are ready to fill them. Haley said that Meeting Place on Main will help get people ready for those jobs by helping them develop the skills and obtain the resources needed to get one of those jobs and keep them.
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Charles Warner can be reached at 864-762-4090.